Here's my Michael Richards-esque confession.
I'm not a racist, but I say things that might be considered "off color" (or, really, "on color," to be honest.)
To wit, recently we were driving down the street. The weather was awful: cold and wet. And as we passed a side-street, we observed a man on a bicycle.
"Who would ride a bike in this weather?" Natalie asked aloud. "And he's white!" she further exclaimed.
At the very same moment I felt the urge to laugh my butt off and cower in shame, but at the same time it made me nearly wet myself.
Clearly this was a learned comment, probably from the time when we drove past a bus stop and Natalie asked why all of the people waiting there were black. I told her that they probably worked at the mall but lived closer to Detroit, and, lacking sufficient funds, could not afford a car. I didn't say, "Because black people are too poor to buy cars," but she must have taken something like that from it.
For the record, I do not believe that a person's race has anything to do with his or her merits as a human being.
Also for the record, a person shouldn't have to apologize for relaying an amusing story, even if the story involves exploiting certain racial stereotypes. It was really funny. Almost as funny (and horrifying) as the time when I told Mark that it was bed time, and he mumbled, "This is bullsh*t, I think."